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Merle Boucher, Rolette, N.D., Published October 17 2012

Letter: Berg’s colleagues forced him out

I wish to share an experience I had in the closing weeks of the 2007 North Dakota legislative session, when I was the minority floor leader of the House.

I got a knock on the inner door to my office. I was confronted by a couple of high-profile House Republicans who asked if I would have a conversation with them. I was informed that their Republican majority leader, Rick Berg, R-Fargo, was about to be deposed by his own caucus. It was “suggested” that he step down. Simply put, he was fired. “What brought this on?” I asked. They shared their peers’ ongoing complaints about Berg, long-simmering issues that finally came to the boiling point. I was told that “many caucus members do not like Rick Berg. They feel he is self-serving. Bottom line, they simply do not trust him.”

These were compelling assessments coming from fellow Republicans who worked closely with Berg every day, side by side. When people who work closely with someone for years finally can’t take it anymore, it says something powerful. Voters who feel confused about which campaign they can trust should check out Berg’s reputation. Don’t buy into his high-minded promises. He is the same Rick Berg who got fired by those who once hired him. I hope the state’s voters do the same. It’s called “buyers’ remorse.”

Boucher was minority leader of the North Dakota House, 1997-2009.